Immature stages of Reduvius personatus (Linnaeus) and some other Reduviidae are known to camouflage themselves with a range of materials found in their environment. Even though this behavior has been observed in several species, camouflaging structures have never been studied in a comparative way. This study documents for the first time the structure that is involved in the application of camouflaging material, i.e., the hind tarsal fan, and reveals structures that assure the fastening of the camouflaging material, i.e., anchor setae and trichomes, in eight species representing five subfamilies of Reduviidae. Whereas anchor setae assure the attachment of camouflaging material by their mechanical properties, short-projection trichomes, long-projection trichomes, and grouped trichomes are here proposed to secrete a sticky substance for this purpose. Primary homology hypotheses on the three types of trichomes are proposed. At least in some species, short-projection trichomes appear to be responsible for the fastening of the camouflaging layer close to the integument, whereas long-projection trichomes may hold the outer layer of camouflaging material in place.
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Vol. 2006 • No. 3542